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Dan Haren signs one-year deal with Dodgers

Nov 24, 2013, 10:26 PM EST

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

Let go by the Nationals less than a month ago, Dan Haren has found a new home.

The 11-year veteran has reached a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers for one year and $10 million. He’ll also have a vesting option for 2015 that kicks in if he reaches 180 innings pitched.

Haren leaves the Nationals after one year with the team, a tenure that ended much better than it started. The right-hander was one of the worst pitchers in all of baseball in the first half of the season. He felt fine physically and was searching inward for answers.

Then, after a cortisone shot and a stint on the disabled list in late June, Haren returned a much different guy. Over his last 15 starts he held a 3.29 ERA and posted a 2.89 mark in five September starts. He became one of the team’s most consistent pitchers and was a big part of their late season turnaround.

Haren finished his one season in Washington 10-14 with a 4.67 ERA through 169 2/3 innings. His one-year deal for $13 million signed last offseason proved to be a mistake, but the 33-year-old could be primed for a rebound. He’s from the West Coast and had some of his best years pitching for the crosstown Angels.

The Nats signed Haren under very similar circumstances, however. In 2012 with the Angels, Haren was injured and ineffective for much of the season before pulling it together towards the end. His strong finish to the year earned him his deal with the Nats, but unfortunately it didn’t work out. The Dodgers will hope he avoids a repeat.

What is quite surprising about the news is how quickly it was done. Haren wasn’t a top name on the free agent market, so there seemed to be no rush. But he ended up signing relatively quickly and got a nice deal along the way. Unless the Dodgers were set on him from the start, he likely had more interest from teams than many had predicted.

FoxSports.com first reported the news. The deal is pending a physical.

  1. whatsanattau - Nov 24, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    I liked Dan Deuce quite a bit, but the prequel was not very enjoyable.

  2. water47 - Nov 25, 2013 at 6:43 AM

    Haren in another piece off the board. Although the Nats had no interest in signing him, I get the sense Rizzo is waiting to see if
    A) he can get sweetheart deal of a SP
    and/or
    B) He is looking at the big move for Price/Scherzer or maybe Tanaka.

    If a) then I we should assume he is going to for one of the non-tender SP.
    Garza, Nolasco, Arroyo maybe some one like Chen. These area sort of mixed bag and fill the role of 1 yr filler as the youngsters/Detweiler either step up or move on.

    If b) I think this move has to be evaluated on the ability to spend money instead of prospects/players.
    Price – I read that the Rays mad half of Price 2013 salary a signing bonus due in 2014. So, if you offer to take that you should be able to reduce the prospects/players, Maybe, $5 + Roark, Jordan, Detweiler (low cost SP) and Rendon? Not sure that is it but maybe.

    Scherzer – Not sure he is still available but Maybe Rendon and two prospects

    Tanaka – this is the money only deal. It seems to make the most sense. No loss of draft picks, And about half the money spent will be counted against the cap. Granted he may turn out to be a mediocre SP but with Zimnn sttill up in the air maybe the Nats sign Tanaka and (gasp) move Zim in the next year?

    Also, it seems that the Nats have been quite in the Int’l signing area lately. This is an area that needs to be mined. Granted Smiley and then Maya burned them but that does not mean you give up.

    • sjm308 - Nov 25, 2013 at 7:30 AM

      And there is c) which is for the first time, do nothing as far as starting pitching is concerned & bank on the young arms at least in the beginning of the season. If they work out, you are set for many seasons to come as Giolito and others move in behind them. If it doesn’t work, you make the trade before the deadline.

  3. Hiram Hover - Nov 25, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    Good for Dan–not sorry to see him go, but I wish him well.

    As for what the Nats do about their rotation – Dan returning was never an option, but this does give us further evidence of what a back of the rotation SP costs on the FA market–Jason Vargas, $32M/4yrs, was a pretty scary data point too.

    Even tho the price for FA is high, I still think Rizzo is more likely to go that route than to make a trade–or at least, a trade for the likes of Price or Scherzer (listening to the chatter about those two is like listening to the folks who were sure Rizzo was going to sign Greinke last year).

    sjm – I take your point about option c, but if this looks like a year to contend, I doubt Rizzo is going to count on baby arms + the unreliable Det for 40% of his rotation. Too much of a chance of getting into a hole early–esp. after last year, this team needs a strong start.

  4. Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 25, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    Haren will forever have the Nats saves record at 1.000

  5. Section 222 - Nov 25, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    I expect Rizzo will sign someone on a one or two year deal too. It’s just too risky to bank on a youngster every five days. Also, we need them for injury insurance. Let’s say Roark starts the year in the rotation. You’re then one shoulder issue away from a rotation that includes Roark, Det, and Jordan. That’s scary.

    It seems like deals are being made quicker this year than last. Is that true, and if so, why is that? Fewer decent FAs available?

    Just say no to trading Rendon. The alternatives at 2B are just not good enough.

    http://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/nbcsports/img/post_comment.gif?m=1286321811g

  6. alexva6 - Nov 25, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    more and more I’m seeing Detwiler/Roark as the starter #5/long relief option.

    would love the Nats to make a play for Homer Bailey to slot in at #4

  7. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 25, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Good luck to Haren. Bailey is likely not available because with Arroyo leaving, Reds have their rotation set.

    • alexva6 - Nov 25, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      then again Bailey will get close to 10M in arbitration this year and will hit free agency next year. they may choose to lock up Arroyo for two years 20-25M if they could get something else of value for Bailey.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Nov 25, 2013 at 11:51 AM

        $10 MM for Homer is more than reasonable from Reds POV. unless they are working under some budget constraints that don’t allow them to add any FA and they are planning to clear salary space, I don’t see reds parting with Bailey.

  8. Mrsb loves the Nats - Nov 25, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    I dont like this new system… It keeps logging me out and then messing up… Ugh…

    Anyways – Good Luck to D Haren.

    As for the SP rotation – I am hoping that Rizzo goes and signs a lefty and has either Roark or Jordan as the 5th person. Det needs to be moved to the BP and we go from there…

    Det can be a long innings lefty guy… Stammen/Ohlendorf can be long innings righty guys…

  9. jd - Nov 25, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    222,

    When you see the dollars dished out to average pitchers it makes you wonder what pitchers who are slightly above average like Nolasco and Garza will get in years and dollars. This is why I prefer to go for quality via the trade route but I do agree that Rendon or anyone who is a contributor at the major league level should be off limits. I don’t mind dealing prospects, that’s one of the reasons you have prospects.

  10. jd - Nov 25, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Mrs. B.

    When you look at Det’s body of work in detail he really grades out as a good multi innings reliever with just not enough of a repertoire to be a top notch starter. Unfortunately that means we probably need 2 starters for the bottom of the rotation and to expect both Jordan and Roark to hold these slots down is a bit of a stretch for a contending team.

  11. kirbs3256 - Nov 25, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    Maybe some home cooking will help…and of the group of no-tender FA, i like Arroyo the best. His junk ball stuff will be a good mix with the power arms. I think Ross will be in the pen.

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